Tracking your Twitter contest is an obvious step in running a successful Twitter contest, but I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t track their results.
Always track all of your marketing efforts and remember every marketing effort should be done for a reason.
Tools to Measure Your Twitter Contest
It’s important to use appropriate tools to measure your Twitter contest.
If the objectives of your Twitter contest are to increase followers, increase ReTweets, and generate leads, you need a tool that can measure these statistics.
You may have to use more than one tool to measure your results. You could use a tool like HootSuite or HubSpot, to measure the increase in the number of followers and ReTweets.
Measure the Leads Generated
To measure the leads generated by your contest, you could set up a new campaign in an email autoresponder program like Aweber, or Constant Contact to capture your new leads.
The key is to determine the appropriate measurement tool and test it before you launch your Twitter contest.
I like to use multiple tools to measure my contests, to make sure I’m accurately measuring the results.
I use HootSuite as my primary measurement tool and I’ll use a tool like SocialBro or TwitGraph for backup.
Confirm the Winners
When your contest ends, it’s important to reach out to the winners on Twitter and via email, to let them know that they won as soon as possible.
Once they respond, I let the Twitterverse know who won.
It’s important to wait until they respond to you, to confirm that they are a real person and not a Twitterbot.
It would be very embarrassing if the winner of your contest was a Twitterbot and you announced it to the world.
Once you confirm the winner, it’s time to celebrate!
Announce the winner publicly on Twitter, on the contest’s web page, your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and your other social communities.
The more publicity you generate, the more popular your future contests will be.
Review the Results
When your contest is complete, take time to review its results.
Did you meet your goals? What worked and what didn’t? What could you do better in your next contest?
It’s important to review your contest in detail so you can make your next one even better. It’s also very important, to follow up with your new leads in a timely manner.
I also like to welcome my new followers with a personal message if possible.
Creating a Great ReTweet
The contest entry criteria for a Twitter contest is usually:
- Contestants must follow you on Twitter
- Contestants must ReTweet a specific message
You want to create a great message for them to ReTweet, so you generate a buzz for your contest and promote your sponsor (if you have one).
An example of a good ReTweet message would be:
RT @YourTwitterID Win a $1500 autographed web marketing guide courtesy of @YourSponsorTwitterID http://bit.ly/LWN31T #hashtag
Your message should have the following elements:
- Your message should be less than 140 characters. to give people room to add their personal comments to the ReTweet.
- Begin with something other than @YourTwitterID so the ReTweet will be treated like a Reply instead of a Mention. If you begin the ReTweet with @YourTwitterId it will only be seen by your followers.
- Use your Twitter ID in the message so people will follow you
- Mention a brief summary of the prize
- Mention your sponsor or their Twitter ID in the message and make it clear they are providing the prize
- Add a trackable link that is shortened to the Tweet. You can use HootSuite or URL shorteners like Bitly or TinyURL.
- Add your contest hashtag to the ReTweet to help promote your contest.
The trick is to provide enough information about the contest, the prize, and your sponsor while leaving room for contestants to ReTweet the message. You will get the hang of it with a little practice.
Launching Your Twitter Contest
It is essential that you plan the launch of your Twitter contest because you can’t afford any hiccups once you start it.
There are many potential points of failure, so it’s best to create a detailed launch plan, with a complete checklist of tasks and responsibilities.
It’s also important to practice your launch, by simulating the tasks as a team,
or by doing a small launch to make sure your task list is complete.
Involve your sponsors in the planning and testing process
Your sponsors are an integral part of your Twitter contest, so get them involved from the beginning.
- Give them plenty of time to work on their contest tasks and make sure the contest prize will be ready well in advance.
- Make sure you know exactly what the prize will be, how and when it will be delivered and set an expiration date if the prize is a service or a non-tangible item.
- Never change the prize once the contest begins
- Never change the rules once the contest begins.
- Work together with your sponsor to create a marketing plan for the event and distribute the tasks and costs accordingly.
- Set up your promotional web pages well in advance and test all links thoroughly.
- Promote the contest constantly using scheduled Tweets and social media posts.
- Never charge someone to participate in the contest or require them to purchase anything to gain entry into the contest. This can be illegal in some states so always keep your contests free to everyone.
- Follow Twitter’s contest rules at all times.
Twitter contests are very effective when you set clear contest objectives, plan your contest carefully, measure your success, and test, test, and test again before you launch.
Remember to make your contest fun and easy, and watch the results unfold!